Student - Rice University

Living with a single mother and three siblings, money has always been something we did not have enough of. And in a time where we need to stock up on weeks’ worth of groceries along with the cutting of working hours due to the need of social distancing, money has become even scarcer than before. We understand the need of social distancing, but when one lives paycheck by paycheck, days off can be one’s worst nightmare. My mother and my older brother sacrifice their well-being to keep the grocery shelves stocked, to help shoppers prepare for this pandemic, and to put bread on the table. I worry for their safety every day, many around our community are not taking this situation seriously and I worry their recklessness will put my family members in danger. Every time I see them head to work, I pray for their health, for God to keep them safe. As someone suffering from asthma, I cannot go outside, I cannot help them pay bills or buy groceries and I feel so useless in this ongoing financial problem and it brings me to tears. My mother has noticed this and assured me that the best thing is for me to stay inside for my health. We would not be able to afford treatment if I were to get the virus, so I try my best to practice social isolation and proper cleaning to keep my family and myself safe. Along with that, I try to do as much as I can at home to keep my mother’s workload low, like cooking, cleaning, and taking care of my other siblings. To keep everyone positive during this stressful time and to pray for us stay healthy and afloat during this ever-changing period. I try to focus on my studies during this uncertain time as my mother encourages me to do, because with this college education I hope to help my family get out of this slump. I want this financial uncertainty to become a part of our past, I want to be helpful in some way and this is the only way I know how. I want my mom to finally relax, to be happy for a day off, to not worry.